By SCOTT SAALMAN
Last week, the Reporter ran first part of Guitar Face Magazine conversation with Indiana-based classic 1970s rockers Courtesy Flush, who will launch into a 50e Anniversary “Expiry Date” tour this fall. Here is the second part. READ IT LOUD.
GF: I bet you can’t wait to hit the road after canceling your last two tours due to COVID-19.
Tweed: Actually, we canceled three tours. In 2019, we scrapped the “Bun in the Oven, Fork in the Toaster” tour when Twill fell off stage during the first show.
Twill: It wasn’t a fall. I jumped off the stage to grab my own guitar pick thrown at the audience.
GF: rolling stone writer Rob Sheffield called it “the most narcissistic guitarist move ever”.
Twill: I caught it in the air.
Tweed: Unfortunately, the fans didn’t understand Twill.
Twill: It was a big thrill…despite the casting that followed.
GF: Courtesy Flush is the only band to use a bell instead of drums. Do you want to elaborate?
Tweed: It’s cheaper than a drummer. Uh.
GF: How difficult will the tour be mentally without the Trench Coat, a long time bell player?
Tweed: Very durable. He was just one show away from being a co-founder of the group.
Twill: We used a real cow on our first show…you know, the shit of Bowie-influenced rock performance art in the early 70s. The shit is right. I had never seen such a messy step thanks to this cow.
Tweed: The next night, Trench Coat showed up with a cowbell. We just asked, “Are you clean, man?” He said he thought so. He was hired on the spot. No audition necessary.
Twill: I’ve never seen TC without his fedora, sunglasses and cowhide trench coat. He even wore that thick coat to sunny festivals like Woodstock.
GF: Did you play at Woodstock?
Twill: We supported Limp Bizkit.
GF: Uh, this Woodstock.
Twill: Are there any others?
Tweed: TC’s coat had 12 inside pockets, one for each cowbell, one cowbell for each key. He meant business.
Tweed: You could hear it approaching from a mile away.
Twill: He had this bovine vibe, man.
Tweed: He played the bell like no other. He loved Bird and Monk. He permeated cowbell jazz. “Donka donka donka donka”, not the usual guts “donk donk donk donk”. The sound of the Trench Coat, man.
GF: The Cowbell players revered him. Albert Bouchard of Blue Öyster Cult describes TC thus: “Calling Trench Coat the bell player of the bell players is a mistake. He is actually the cowbell player of cowbell players.
Tweed: He was egoless. The modesty of his playing comes from his learning of jazz. Note that there was no big bell solo in our hit song “Motel Indiana”. He propelled us, gave movement to the song. Forget Twill’s indulgent five-minute solo on the eight-neck guitar. The Trench Coat sound was the real engine behind Motel Indiana.
GF: The coroner’s report said “death by stampede.”
Tweed: Rather death by irony. All we know is that TC was hitting the road in Texas to promote their solo record, For whom the bell rings.
Twill: Every time he traveled with us and saw cattle roaming free, we would stop the bus. He was hypnotized by the sounds of cowbells in the fields. It was symphonic for him.
Tweed: Looking back, Siren song.
Twill: Climbing the fences, joining the herd, playing the game.
Tweed: I blame his penchant for peyote.
Twill: Guess he started running with the wrong herd.
Tweed: The cowhide coat bothered the cows. Or maybe cows hate jazz.
Twill: At least he died doing what he loved.
GF: Without a Trench Coat now to mediate your brotherly feuds, how will the band survive the Expiration Date tour?
Twill: There’s no denying that he stopped us from killing each other.
Twill: knife fights.
Tweed: Mine was a knife. Yours was a machete.
Twill: Kenny Chesney’s music all the way.
GF: I heard your hatred for each other was so strong that even the Gallagher brothers from Oasis said to you, “Guys, keep it down. You make us look good.
Twill: One time in the Green Room when we opened for KISS, Tweed put crushed glass instead of crushed ice in my mug.
Tweed: It was an honest mistake. Besides, it was a reward for all this tourniquet business.
Twill: Crushed glass, man! I coughed up blood the whole show.
Tweed: When Gene Simmons saw how much the fans loved blood, he started spitting blood on stage at every gig after that. Fake, not real like mine. The rest is KISS history.
Serge: Let’s go back to your original question. Yes, Trench Coat deserves recognition for its longevity. Fifty years on the road! Can you believe it? We owe him a lot. He was not only our bell player.
GF: Critics blame you for not canceling the tour since Trench Coat is barely cold in its grave.
Tweed: As our brother from another mother, Bob Seger, said, “Let’s move on.” Rock On. In addition, we have already printed T-shirts and Koozies.
Twill: TC would like us to tour, especially knowing that I now own a mansion in Geist.
GF: Fair enough. So, who makes bells?
Tweed: Did you notice that cow grazing out front?
GF: You mean…
Tweed: Yeah, man, we’re doing the live cow thing again.
Twill: back to basics. Full circle.
Tweed: How’s that for a guitar face scoop?
GF: Looks like there will be a lot of scavenging in the fall.
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